In an interview with Amy Schumer, posted to Lenny Letter (the newsletter Dunham runs with Girls showrunner Jenni Konner) on Friday, Dunham and Schumer discussed this year’s Met Gala, which neither of them seemed to enjoy.
The majority of Dunham’s comments about the event concerned Beckham Jr.’s seeming disinterest in her.
“It was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog,'” Dunham recalled. “It wasn’t mean — he just seemed confused.”
“The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to f**k it? Is it wearing a… yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going back to my cell phone,'” she added.
“It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bowtie,” Dunham, who arrived with Konner and J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons, stated. “I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes.'”
Twitter users were quick to call out Dunham after the newsletter was published, accusing her of perpetuating racist stereotypes about black athletes, and making assumptions about Beckham Jr. without attempting to start a conversation.
Dunham then took to Twitter to defend herself, attempting to clarify her remarks on the NFL star.
“[Beckham Jr.] is talented, stylish, seems super awesome and wasn’t into chatting with me at a fancy party. My story about him was clearly (to me) about my own insecurities as an average-bodied woman at a table of supermodels & athletes,” she wrote through several tweets. “It’s not an assumption about who he is or an expectation of sexual attention. It’s my sense of humor, which has kept me alive for 30 years. Glad the outrage machine roars on though, right @amyshcumer?”
Dunham also apologized, stating that she made “totally narcissistic assumptions” about Beckham Jr. in a lengthy post on her Instagram.
I owe Odell Beckham Jr an apology. Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don’t rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it’s hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he’d rather be seated with. But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don’t know AT ALL. Like, we have never met, I have no idea the kind of day he’s having or what his truth is. But most importantly, I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies- as well as false accusations by white women towards black men. I’m so sorry, particularly to OBJ, who has every right to be on his cell phone. The fact is I don’t know about his state of mind (I don’t know a lot of things) and I shouldn’t have acted like I did. Much love and thanks, Lena